I went to an interesting class at Yoga Shala last night. 108 sun salutations for the summer solstice. Actually, I didn't complete all 108 because I did a few variations in there, but for the most part, I tried to keep the rhythm going for the entire two hours. I wanted to flow into the sun, the feel the energy of summer radiate from my core. But, with all the running I've been doing I took a pragmatic look about half way through and realized that I could also get some much needed stretching in too. The balance between the plan--aka do the entire 108--and the inspiration--hey I could get a good pigeon stretch in right now. Each solstice I learn a bit more about myself. I heard, and more importantly paid attention to, the message that I need to let go of the plan. When I joined the Peace Corps, the PC macho phrase resonated too well in my New English rugged individualist soul. I have softened. I really have. But I also have hardened. Balance. Be nice. To myself and to my world. I repeated these mantras as I dipped down into each forward bend-that would be 216 forward bends, if all had been completed.
I put the number 108 in the first paragraph of my second novel. It's a good number with meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is round and rolls of the tongue. And the number enabled me to stay in the yoga room for two hours feeling a rhythm and just being present with my breath. That in itself is of sparkling importance.